During a blizzard, remembering the NICU during Hurricane Isabel

So as the blizzard roars outside, I am finding myself vividly remembering Hurricane Isabel as it slammed Virginia back in 2003 during Becky’s NICU stay. Talk about the strangest days of my life. In short:

– Becky was safely tucked away in the NICU and “kicking back at the beach” as we noted because she was currently under yet another set of the bili lights for jaundice. Our tiny little preemie continued to struggle on various fronts but did well in the end.

– At home, our house had a brown out while I was pumping breastmilk . . . “Oh no you don’t!” I shouted to the ceiling. The lights blasted back on. To this day Gregg, my husband, is in awe saying I shouted down God. He is too funny.

– It was truly bizarre to celebrate having electricity after the storm only to find out that our water was not safe to drink. We showered, we had to deal with toilets that would not flush. At the NICU we were advised to wash our hands but then to use hand sanitizer afterward as a precaution. I was a freak about giving Becky germs obviously. All I could think of was “This sucks!”

– During all of this I wound up in the Emergency Room due to heavy post-birth bleeding. What fun!

My heart goes out to all of the preemie families that cannot get out to see their babies today and to those that chose to sleep at the hospital. None of this is easy. And a big hug to all of the NICU staff that struggled to get into work today. I pray that everyone makes it through this storm intact.

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